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The Great Reset: Can Joe Biden Heal America?

The BBC's Justin Webb chairs a panel of speakers from across the political spectrum

On January 20 Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. But as the storming of the Capitol on January 6 by supporters of Donald Trump showed, those 50 states are far from united.

Biden inherits a battered country that needs putting back together. Its political tribes need to find common cause. Its people need vaccines. Its economy needs triage. Sure, Biden beat Donald Trump by more than six million votes. But more people voted for Trump in November than they did four years ago. No Republican candidate in history has received as many votes as Trump did. Even Biden’s own party is not united – progressives are lining up against centrists.

Is the 78-year-old Biden up to the job? Can he make Trump’s furious and alienated supporters feel that he is their president too? Can he match Trump’s success in boosting the economy at the same time as reversing Trump’s deregulation? Can he help end racial injustice? And while he faces all of these challenges, how will he cope with the threat of a Trump re-election bid in 2024?


Speakers

Speakers

Osita Nwanevu

Staff writer at The New Republic


Staff writer at The New Republic. He is a former staff writer at The New Yorker and Slate and his work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, In These Times, and the Chicago Reader. Nwanevu is the former editor-in-chief of the South Side Weekly, a Chicago alternative newspaper.

Danielle Pletka

Senior fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)


Senior fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she focuses on US foreign policy generally and the Middle East specifically. She also teaches US Middle East policy at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is the co-host of the podcast “What the Hell Is Going On?”

Sarah Churchwell

Professor of American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London.


Professor of American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She is the author of Behold, America: A History of America First and the American DreamCareless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great Gatsby and The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe. She comments regularly on arts, culture, and politics in the press and on television and radio, where appearances include Question Time, Newsnight and The Review Show.
Chair

Justin Webb

Presenter on BBC Radio 4's Today programme


One of the presenters of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. He was the BBC’s North America Editor for 8 years, covering the 9/11 attacks and the election of President Obama. He writes regularly for the Radio Times and reviews books for the Sunday Times.

 

Speakers are subject to change.